Children stress free thanks to University's toy penguins

Kedleston Road campus 504x257 Children stress free thanks to University's toy penguins

Date posted: 4 July 2014

What's the best way to relieve stress?

According to youngsters at the Derbyshire Children's Hospital, it's penguins! The soft toy variety, that is.

Not only do they look cute, their 'squishy' properties mean children can squeeze them like a tension ball - and they have been a big hit since the University of Derby answered a call from the hospital to offer stress toys.

The institution donated a raft of 'stress penguins' which had previously been used as a promotional tool at open days and UCAS fairs.

Clinical psychologist Dr Kate Partridge explains: "These toys have been so popular with the children that we have requested them twice from the University.

"In our work with children, young people and their families we often identify situations where people find it difficult to express or deal with emotions.

"We often teach elements of tension, relaxation and mindfulness in our work looking at expressing difficult feelings. The stress penguins, as we call them, have been a great addition to help children to let their tension out in a fun way.

"We have had very positive comments from children and families about how our patients use the stress penguins and children and young people are very happy to take the toys home with them."

Based at the Royal Derby Hospital, the children's hospital provides care and expert management for all paediatric medical and surgical conditions, as well as many specialist problems.

The University works with the hospital on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate health-related programmes, such as nursing degrees.

Dr Paula Crick, Head of School of Health and Social Care at the University of Derby, said: "We have a close working relationship with the Royal Derby Hospital, and are always happy to support them. The donation of penguins was a small gesture, and it is great to hear that they have contributed to the wellbeing of children and their families."

For further press information please contact Jamie Oliver, University of Derby Press & PR Officer, on 01332 591187 or email:

Use of personal data

Our policy is to only use the data you supply to us for use in regard to the work of the University of Derby. We do not pass on your data to any other third party under any circumstances.